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Eco-driving: 8 tips to reduce your fuel consumption and costs

'Eco-driving' refers to an ecologically sensitive driving style which can reduce your fuel consumption by up to 20%. Eco-driving does not only lower your CO2-emissions and fuel costs, but also has long-term benefits for the environment and for yourself, such as lower maintenance expenses for your vehicle. Here we present the 8 most important eco-driving tips:

Eco-driving

1. Maintain a steady speed

One of the principles of eco-driving is to maintain consistent speed. Keep an eye on your meter, maintain a secure distance to the vehicle in front of you and anticipate abrupt changes in traffic.
If your vehicle disposes of cruise control mode, use it as much as possible to keep your speed steady when road conditions allow it. 

2. Drive smoothly

Avoid excessive speed and an aggressive driving style because these will significantly increase your fuel consumption. Moreover, avoid breaking and accelerating suddenly. Anticipate difficult situations and changing traffic lights. For instance, do not accelerate sharply to cross an orange stop light.

3. Shift gears wisely

As a general rule, aim for maximum speed with minimum engine rotations because higher engine speed consumes considerably more fuel. If possible, shift up gears early while speeding up and shift down early when driving downhill in order to slow your car down with the engine. Always drive in the highest gear possible if conditions allow it, but avoid driving with less than 2000 engine rotations per minute. Another way to increase fuel efficiency is to skip gears: by shifting directly from third to fifth gear while increasing your speed, for example. Similarly, avoid shifting through all your gears while slowing down if conditions allow it.

4. Turn off the engine

Save fuel by turning off your engine when you are at a standstill in traffic or waiting for any other reason. Even 15 seconds can save you fuel. Most new cars will do so automatically thanks to their 'eco mode'.

5. Maintain your vehicle

Regularly checking your vehicle is another measure to increase its’ fuel efficiency: a well-serviced car will consume significantly less fuel than a poorly-serviced car. Checking your engine's oil levels and your car's tire pressure regularly is especially important to reduce fuel consumption. 

6. Limit the use of airconditioning 

Your car’s air conditioning is powered by fuel and will increase your fuel consumption while in use. Hence, you will reduce your car’s CO2-emissions and save on fuel if you turn it off or limit the use of your air conditioning.

7. Avoid unnecessary short trips 

Avoid unnecessary short trips by car as a cold engine consumes more fuel. Consider walking or cycling the distance instead if possible.

8. Increase car occupancy

If you increase your car’s occupancy by, for example, giving your friends a ride to the next party, you make each person’s journey less power-intensive. In this way, you adopt an environmentally friendly behaviour, lower CO2-emissions and save on fuel expenses collectively.
 
 
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